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NASA Scientists to Discuss Oct. 14 ‘Ring of Fire’ Solar Eclipse

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An annular “ring of fire” solar eclipse on May 20, 2012.
Credits: NASA/Bill Dunford

NASA will host a media teleconference at 4 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 26, to discuss the upcoming annular solar eclipse. The annular eclipse will cross the U.S. from Oregon to Texas on Saturday, Oct. 14, with a partial solar eclipse visible throughout the contiguous U.S.

Audio of the call will stream live on NASA’s website.

The following participants will discuss the science of eclipses, how to safely watch the Oct. 14 eclipse, and the next total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024:

  • Peg Luce, acting Heliophysics division director, NASA Headquarters
  • Madhulika Guhathakurta, heliophysics program scientist, NASA Headquarters
  • Elizabeth MacDonald, heliophysics citizen science lead, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Alex Lockwood, strategic content and integration lead for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters

To ask questions during the teleconference, media must RSVP no later than two hours before the event to Sarah Frazier at sarah.frazier@nasa.gov. NASA’s media accreditation policy is available online.

Also known as a “ring of fire” eclipse, an annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is near the part of its orbit that is most distant from Earth. Because the Moon is farther from Earth than it is during a total solar eclipse, the Moon doesn’t block out the entire Sun, instead it leaves a bright ring of Sun visible at the peak of the eclipse.

This “ring of fire” is visible only in the narrow path of annularity that stretches from Oregon to Texas, as well as parts of Mexico, Central America, and South America. Outside the path of annularity, people across the contiguous U.S., Puerto Rico, and parts of Alaska and Hawaii will have the chance to see a partial solar eclipse, when the Moon covers part of the Sun without creating the “ring of fire” effect.

All eclipse-watchers on Oct. 14 will need to use special eye protection – such eclipse glasses or a specialized solar filter – or an indirect viewing method to safely watch the eclipse. Such safety measures must be used throughout the entire eclipse, no matter a viewer’s location, as even the small ring of Sun visible at the peak of the annular eclipse is dangerous if viewed directly.

Live coverage of the annular solar eclipse will air on NASA TV and the agency’s website on Oct. 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.. The public also can watch live on agency social media accounts on FacebookX, and YouTube.

The April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse will cross the U.S. from Texas to Maine.

For more information about eclipses, visit:

https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/eclipses/

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Asteroid Apophis: An Exciting Encounter with Earth

Get ready for an exciting and safe encounter with asteroid Apophis as it zooms past Earth in 2029! Don’t miss this celestial event! #Apophis2029

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In just five years, on April 13, 2029, the world will witness the close encounter of a rather infamous asteroid named Apophis. This grand event, visible to the naked eye, has sparked curiosity among astronomers and captured the attention of the public. However, rest assured, there is no reason for alarm. Let’s delve into the fascinating story of the asteroid Apophis and shed light on its journey through the cosmos.

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Asteroid Apophis: An Exciting Encounter with Earth https://stmdailynews.com/category/science/

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Asteroid Apophis: An Exciting Encounter with Earth

Location, Location, Location:
Apophis is an asteroid measuring about 1,100 feet (340 meters) in diameter. Extensive calculations have revealed that it will safely pass by Earth both in 2029 and 2036. During the 2029 flyby, Apophis will come within a nominal distance of 19,662 miles (31,643 km) from our planet’s surface, closer than the moon and many satellites in Earth’s orbit. As it traverses through Earth’s gravitational field, the passage of Apophis might even cause subtle asteroid-quakes and slightly alter its orbit.

Spectacular Viewing Opportunities:
Although not observable from everywhere, lucky viewers in Australia, southern Asia, southern Europe, and Africa will have a front-row seat to witness Apophis at its brightest in 2029. As the asteroid gradually moves away from Earth and dims, it will become visible in eastern South America. Furthermore, as evening falls along the east coast of North America, telescopes will reveal Apophis located approximately 15 degrees north of the Pleiades. An ephemeris for the asteroid can be found on our website to help astronomers and enthusiasts track its celestial journey.

The Discovery of Apophis:
On the remarkable evening of June 19, 2004, astronomers at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona made a thrilling discovery. Dave Tholen, Fabrizio Bernardi, and the late Roy Tucker stumbled upon an asteroid, later designated as 2004 MN4. What made this discovery even more extraordinary was the fact that the asteroid was unusually close to the sun, only 57 degrees away. Further observations revealed that Apophis had an orbit different from most asteroids, resembling that of an Aten-class asteroid.

Narrowing the Probability of Collision:
Initially, calculations showed that Apophis had a 2.7% chance of colliding with Earth on April 13, 2029, a date marked with superstition. This resulted in a media frenzy surrounding the potentially hazardous asteroid. However, over several years, astronomers meticulously observed Apophis, taking into account the influence of other celestial bodies and the Yarkovsky effect caused by sunlight. By 2006, these studies dispelled the notion of a collision in 2029, relieving the world of any imminent danger.

No More Worries for the Future:
Many eagerly awaited the subsequent close approach of Apophis in 2036. However, in 2013, after conducting radar observations using the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex and the Green Bank Observatory, NASA definitively ruled out any potential impact in 2036 and for the next 100 years. Apophis is now no longer on the Sentry Impact Risk Table, which lists potentially dangerous objects near Earth.

Unlocking the Scientific Opportunities:
With the new knowledge that Apophis poses no threat, astronomers can fully embrace the upcoming close encounter as a fantastic scientific opportunity. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, known for its historic mission to bring samples from asteroid Bennu back to Earth, is now en route to rendezvous with Apophis in April 2029. Renamed OSIRIS-APEX (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security – Apophis Explorer), this mission will unlock further insights into the asteroid’s composition and characteristics.


As we eagerly anticipate the visit of the asteroid Apophis in 2029, let us celebrate the wonders of our universe. Apophis serves as a reminder of the dynamic nature of our cosmic neighborhood and the continuously advancing knowledge of our exceptional astronomers. So mark your calendars and join the world in witnessing this extraordinary celestial event, which promises to be a captivating spectacle for all.

https://earthsky.org/space/asteroid-99942-apophis-encounters-2029-2036-2068/?mc_cid=52a3b9aa14&mc_eid=3304aabd10

https://stmdailynews.com/category/science/

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Putting Jobs First: California High-Speed Rail Crosses 13,000 Construction Jobs Milestone

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California High-Speed Rail construction site with workers in hardhats.
Artistic rendering of a CAHSR high-speed train running in the Central Valley. California High-Speed Rail.

In a significant milestone for the nation’s first high-speed rail project, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) announced that it has successfully created over 13,000 construction jobs since 2015. This accomplishment not only signifies progress for the ambitious high-speed rail system but also highlights the positive impact it has had on the local Californian workforce.

California High-Speed Rail Crosses 13,000 Construction Jobs Milestone

Central Valley Takes the Lead:
With over 70 percent of these jobs going to residents of California’s Central Valley, the project has played a vital role in providing employment opportunities for individuals in the region. It is worth acknowledging the efforts of nearly 1,400 workers dispatched each day to various high-speed rail construction sites. These jobs have injected economic vitality and growth into communities across the Central Valley.

Regional Breakdown:

  1. Fresno County: 4,222 jobs
  2. Kern County: 2,538 jobs
  3. Tulare County: 1,282 jobs
  4. Madera County: 580 jobs
  5. Kings County: 462 jobs
  6. Merced County: 189 jobs
  7. Remaining California Counties: 3,387 jobs
  8. Out-of-State: 369 jobs

A Decade of Strong Partnerships:
The Authority has had a longstanding partnership with the California State Building Trades, which has facilitated the creation of thousands of good-paying union jobs. Notably, during the past five years alone, over 10,000 construction positions have been generated through these collaborative efforts. Moreover, a significant focus has been placed on directing employment opportunities towards individuals from disadvantaged communities, further promoting inclusivity and economic upliftment.

California Jobs First Council:
To bolster job creation even further and ensure economic prosperity for all Californians, the California Jobs First Council was established. This council aims to align economic resources, expedite job creation, and enhance opportunities throughout the state. With particular focus on the Central San Joaquin Valley, this initiative serves as an impetus for creating more jobs, rapidly, in every community.

Future Expansion and Construction Progress:
Looking ahead, the Authority is resolute in extending the current 119-mile high-speed rail network to span 171 miles, reaching from Merced to Bakersfield. The construction has already commenced on this expansion project. Presently, more than 25 dynamic construction sites are active within the Central Valley. As a testament to its commitment to environmental stewardship, the Authority has obtained full environmental clearance for 422 miles of the high-speed rail program, stretching from the Bay Area to Los Angeles County.

Stay Updated:
For the latest developments and information about the high-speed rail construction, interested individuals are encouraged to visit the official website: www.buildhsr.com. On the website, visitors can access recent videos, animations, photographs, press center resources, and the latest renderings of the project. All files are available for free use, courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s achievement of surpassing 13,000 construction jobs is undoubtedly a cause for celebration. By focusing on job creation and prioritizing the local workforce, this landmark project is making a positive difference in the lives of Californians, particularly those in the Central Valley. With continued progress and future expansions, the California High-Speed Rail project not only brings efficient transportation but also provides a substantial economic boost that benefits communities and individuals alike.

https://hsr.ca.gov/2024/03/19/putting-jobs-first-california-high-speed-rail-crosses-13000-construction-jobs-milestone/

Source: California High-Speed Rail Authority

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13k+ jobs created! 🚄 California High-Speed Rail breaking records and boosting the economy! jobs infrastructure https://stmdailynews.com/category/the-bridge/urbanism/

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What is California High-Speed Rail?

The California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) is a state-funded project led by the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Currently under construction, Phase 1 is planned to cover 494 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles, passing through the Central Valley. There are plans for Phase 2, which would extend the system to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 776 miles. Authorized by a 2008 ballot, this ambitious project aims to connect major urban areas, significantly reducing travel times. The goal for Phase 1 is to achieve a travel time of 2 hours and 40 minutes between San Francisco and Los Angeles, a vast improvement from the existing Amtrak service, which takes around nine hours.

Construction of Phase 1 began in the Central Valley back in 2015. The project is being built in sections due to limited funding. The state aims to complete a 171-mile (275 km) long Initial Operating Segment (IOS) connecting Merced and Bakersfield by 2024. The IOS is expected to begin its revenue service as a self-contained high-speed rail system between 2030-2033, at an estimated cost of $28–35 billion. CAHSR trains running along this section would be the fastest in the Americas, with a top speed of 220 mph (350 km/h).

Between January 2015 and December 2023, a whopping amount of $11.2 billion was spent on the IOS project, which includes 119 miles (192 km) currently under construction, alongside upgrades to the existing rail lines in the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater Los Angeles. The plan is that Phase 1 will share tracks with conventional passenger trains. However, the Authority has not yet secured funding to connect the Central Valley section with either the Bay Area or Los Angeles, which involves crossing several major mountain passes. As of 2024, it is estimated that Phase 1 will cost a total of $106.2 billion.n.

Supporters of the California High-Speed Rail project emphasize the potential benefits it offers, including the reduction of air traffic and highway congestion, decreased pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and the promotion of economic growth by connecting inland regions to coastal cities. However, opponents argue that the project is too expensive and advocate for directing funds to other transportation or infrastructure initiatives. The choice of route and the decision to initiate construction in the Central Valley, rather than more densely populated areas, have been points of contention. The project has encountered notable challenges such as delays and cost overruns due to management issues, legal disputes, and a lack of complete funding commitment.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_High-Speed_Rail#

https://stmdailynews.com/category/the-bridge/urbanism/

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Riding the Rails to a Sustainable Future: The Rise of High-Speed Rail in the U.S.

High-speed rail in the U.S. offers a sustainable, faster, and comfortable alternative to flying and driving, significantly reducing carbon emissions.

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"High-speed rail in the U.S. offers a sustainable, faster, and comfortable alternative to flying and driving, significantly reducing carbon emissions."
Acela and Metro-North commuter trains share the same tracks through Connecticut.

In a world where environmental sustainability and efficient transportation are becoming increasingly critical, the United States is making strides towards a faster and greener future with the expansion of high-speed rail networks. While the U.S. may have lagged behind other countries in this area, promising developments such as the Brightline West project in the Southwest, the Texas line connecting major cities, and the Northwest corridor linking bustling urban centers are paving the way for a new era of travel.

High-speed rail presents a compelling alternative to traditional modes of transportation. With trains reaching speeds of up to 200 mph, these systems offer a comfortable, cost-effective, and time-efficient way to travel. Compared to flying, high-speed rail eliminates the hassles of airport security checks and long wait times, while surpassing the speed of driving without the stress of being behind the wheel. Passengers can unwind, be productive, or simply enjoy the journey, making it a holistic travel experience.

Beyond the convenience and comfort it offers, high-speed rail holds immense promise in reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change. The potential environmental impact of projects like the Brightline West is staggering, with estimates suggesting that millions of cars could be taken off the road, significantly curbing carbon pollution. Given the alarming statistics on the environmental cost of traditional transportation, transitioning to high-speed rail is a crucial step towards mitigating the harmful effects of climate change.

The urgency of addressing climate change cannot be overstated. The emissions released from burning fossil fuels are driving global warming at an alarming rate, leading to catastrophic consequences such as extreme weather events and environmental degradation. By opting for public transportation like high-speed rail, individuals can contribute to cooling down the planet and reducing their carbon footprint. Additionally, embracing sustainable modes of travel such as walking and biking not only promotes environmental conservation but also enhances personal health and well-being.

As the U.S. accelerates its efforts to embrace high-speed rail and other eco-friendly transportation options, we are moving closer to a future where sustainability and efficiency go hand in hand. By choosing to ride the rails, we are not only embarking on exciting journeys but also taking meaningful steps towards a cleaner, greener planet for generations to come.

If you are interested about high speed rail in America, check out these articles:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acela

https://www.hsr.ca.gov/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brightline

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_rail_in_the_United_States

https://stmdailynews.com/category/the-bridge/urbanism/

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